While property insurance understandably took the headlines during the past week, the House and Senate Health Committees took the opportunity to lay the groundwork for some dramatic legislative proposals.
Chapter representatives met with the leaders of both the House and Senate Health Committees and discussed ways in which to facilitate the creation of a Florida Health Information Network that could serve as a platform for a statewide system of E-prescribing. Also discussed was the need for a Medicaid physician pay raise, as we noted that Medicaid pays only 57% of already-decreasing Medicare, while physician services now account for less than 5% of the overall Medicaid budget. Each committee discussed each of these issues, and it is evident that some sort of legislative proposal will be forthcoming.
Other issues, while not discussed in the committees themselves, were the subject of much lobbying and coalition building. For instance, the Trial Bar appears poised to join Medicine in opposing any attempts by the insurance industry to legislatively overturn the Westside EKG case, which gave physicians the right to sue HMOs directly for violations of the Prompt Pay law.
Over 300 bills were filed last week, many of which seek to expand the scope of practice of nurses, cosmetologists, and pharmacists. We will continue to oppose such efforts.
The Chapter was honored to have a UF contingent join its staff to lobby these crucial issues. Special thanks go to Past Governor Craig S. Kitchens, M.D., FACP, Lawrence D. Klima, M.D., Council member Michelle L. Rossi, M.D., FACP, residents Jeffrey Gill, M.D., Janice Lawson,M.D., Michael Lawson,M.D., and Abe Lin, M.D. The Chapter team not only met with experienced Health Care leaders, but also focused its attention on the freshmen members of the Health Committees, laying the groundwork for the issues that are sure to emerge.
Page updated: 1/26/07
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